Brisbane Heat have stayed in the BBL finals race with a 48-run win over Sydney Thunder at ANZ Stadium.
Brisbane Heat have given themselves a chance to repeat last season’s late charge to Big Bash League glory by snapping their three-match losing streak and increasing Sydney Thunder’s misery on Wednesday night.
Facing a must-win situation, Brisbane scored 5-165 and then bowled out the Thunder for 117 in the 18th over to win by 48 runs at ANZ Stadium.
The result improved Brisbane’s record to 2-3 and condemned the Thunder to an 18th straight loss.
Defending champions Brisbane also started last season with three losses in their last four games before commencing a charge that carried them all the way to the title.
Big-hitting Chris Lynn (56 off 35 balls) rescued Brisbane after Heat limped to 3-56 off 11 overs.
Thunder couldn’t get close to the long hitting of the Heat batters, who clubbed 13 sixes, most of them over the short straight boundaries.
Long-suffering Thunder supporters watched a depressingly familiar situation recur, as captain Michael Hussey (60 off 37 balls) played another lone hand.
The champion left-hander notched his third half-century in as many home games and struck Thunder’s only two sixes before his dismissal triggered a massive collapse.
Cameron Gannon (4-10) returned the best figures of this season’s competition and picked up his second four-wicket haul in as many games.
He picked up 3-1 in one over as the Thunder lost 5-12 in their second collapse of the innings.
Thunder were reasonably placed at 1-55 in the ninth over, but lost 4-32 after the dismissal of Usman Khawaja (22 off 22).
Spinner Daniel Vettori (0-25) bowled his four overs after appearing to be labouring from the back problem that has dogged him in recent weeks.
Earlier, Ben Cutting (25 not out off 13), Luke Pomersbach (25 off 17) and Dan Christian (24 off 20) all cleared the boundary at least twice.
A 66-run fourth-wicket stand between Lynn and Christian added substance to the innings.
Paceman Chris Tremain (0-53 off 4) and Thunder debutant Ajantha Mendis (0-41 off 4) bore the brunt of the punishment.
Consistently excellent paceman Dirk Nannes (3-21 off 4) was the Thunder’s only multiple wicket-taker.
Hussey sprung a surprise by giving the first over to unheralded off spinner Jason Floros (0-18 off 4), who did an excellent containing job.
“This (fifth) game last year got the ball rolling for us and so hopefully we can do that again,” Lynn said.
“We had a plan before the game and the boys executed 99 per cent of the time.
“If you do that each game you are going to be on the winning side more times than not.”
Hussey said Lynn’s innings took the game away from his side.
“Their strong hitting straight was definitely an asset for them,” Hussey said.
“We tried to negate that by trying to bowl back of a length but they just hit a few good ones.”
“I’m definitely disappointed. I gave us a big chance to win the game today.”